angle-left Smart solutions for a carbon neutral city

Smart solutions for a carbon neutral city

13.06.2019 11:08

The city of Joensuu has introduced various smart solutions to promote carbon neutrality and reduce emissions. 

Smart LED lighting saves energy

Automatically brightening and dimming streetlights can save a significant amount of energy. In Joensuu, this has been tested in Penttilänranta, where the streetlights use motion detectors. The lights brighten when the sensors detect pedestrians and cyclists approaching. And when the person has passed by, the lights dim again. The electricity consumption of smart LED lighting is around 70 % lower compared to lights that shine bright all the time.

The energy consumption of lighting in Joensuu has reduced by other means as well. Most of the city’s streetlights have been replaced with LED lights. The remaining lights will be replaced as needed. The LED lights have a five-step dimming feature, and the lighting is dimmer during nights. With these measures, the energy consumption of street lighting has reduced over 40 %.

Traffic counters provide important data

Joensuu monitors traffic with automatic traffic counting. Traffic monitoring is important both for urban planning as well as for the carbon neutrality goal of Joensuu since traffic is one of the carbon neutrality indicators. The follow-up data on the number of pedestrians and cyclists in Joensuu city centre can be examined on the Joensuu traffic counter website.

Smart Rantakylä-Utra project

In the Smart Rantakylä-Utra project we focused on identifying local measures that can improve energy efficiency and increase the consumption ofof domestic renewable energy. The project operated from 2015 to 2016.

During the project, we monitored and piloted measures to turn Rantakylä-Utra into an energy and resource efficient “Smart City” neighbourhood. The project focused on the perspectives of real properties, local energy, transport and urban framework, and digitalization.

The outcome of the project is an energy and resource efficient model to reform the Rantakylä-Utra neighbourhood. The technology, material and construction solutions planned will be executed as a part of urban planning and civil engineering.

In the project, we increased the motivation and knowledge of citizens, property owners and other actors on energy saving solutions and reconstruction. Furthermore, we established an energy technology and reconstruction network to execute the solutions.

GreenPark – A smart energy park

There is a new business park developing in Penttilä, Joensuu. It is planned to serve especially cleantech, timber and metal industry companies. GreenPark makes location a competitive advance for the companies: the companies can benefit from each other’s proximity due to low transport costs etc.

GreenPark offers efficiency and cost savings to businesses by optimizing material and energy flows. It is a great platform for company cooperation.

As the name suggests, GreenPark uses green energy. Solar power and geothermal energy are already used in the area. Next, the park will build a smart energy system that will make the area as carbon neutral and energy efficient as possible. The park will also establish a centre for support functions and supplementary services for the companies in the area.